Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Derby Week

Opening Night

Presented by Budwesier

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

5:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.

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Churchill Downs combines the Thrill of Racing and the Best of Louisville Arts. Witness a variety of artists,  live performances & art installations, and 11 thrilling thoroughbred races make this night a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Opening Night is a "Dress to Impress" occasion. Ladies are encouraged to wear party and cocktail dresses and men are encouraged to wear sharp pants and a dress shirt; a tie is optional. The signature accessory for Opening Night is an evening headpiece, whether it’s a fascinator, feathers, a hat, a headband, or something else! We want ladies and gentlemen to have fun sporting a nighttime Derby look.


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Dawn at the Downs

Tuesday, May 1st through Thursday, May 3rd 2018

7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

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Watch the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks contenders conduct morning workouts while enjoying a delicious buffet breakfast. 

Dawn at the Downs is a popular tradition for both Louisvillians and visitors, giving Kentucky Derby fans the opportunity to see the contenders train for the big race, while listening to expert commentary. Narrated by resident expert handicapper, Joe Kristufek. Listen as Kristufek announces the horses on the track, evaluates their workouts, discusses their past performances, and provides insight to the Kentucky Derby & Oaks races.

Tickets start at $41 for an adult, and include a reserved dining seat and breakfast chef's table.


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Derby Week Racing

Tuesday, May 1st & Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

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Kentucky Derby week is one of the best times to experience live racing at Churchill Downs. Be a part of the excitement as racing returns under the Twin Spires and Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders visit the Paddock to take a look around before the big day.

Thurby

Presented by Old Forester

Celebrate the trifecta of Kentucky pride at Thurby, and enjoy the things that Kentucky is famous for – great horse racing, bourbon, and music!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

11:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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Kentucky Derby week is one of the best times to experience live racing at Churchill Downs. Be a part of the excitement at Thurby as racing returns under the Twin Spires and Kentucky Derby and Oaks contenders visit the Paddock to take a look around before the big day. 

Tickets start at $20 for general admission access to the Paddock area, the Plaza, and the First Floor Grandstand.


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Taste of Derby

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

KFC Yum! Center

Kick off your Kentucky Derby weekend in style at the sixth annual Taste of Derby presented by Stella Artois.

Mingle with horse racing celebrities as you savor an evening of exquisite cuisine and exceptional wines. Sample regional specialties with wine pairings, created by nationally renowned chefs along the Road to the Kentucky Derby, as you enjoy live entertainment from Downtown Band and a live chef cooking showdown. Join us from 7 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. as we start the Kentucky Derby celebration with flavor!


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Kentucky Oaks

Friday, May 4th, 2018

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The Longines Kentucky Oaks is America's premier and most lucrative horse race for 3-year-old fillies, and the third most attended day of racing in the U.S. Held each year on the day before the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks day embraces PINK style & attire (for both the women & the men) and drives awareness for critical women's health issues in partnership with the Norton Cancer Institute Breast Health Program & Horses and Hope.

Kentucky oaks Logo

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Official Derby Events

Taste of Derby – Barnstable Brown Gala – Unbridled Eve Gala – Fillies & Lilies

Make the Kentucky Derby even more unforgettable. Attend an Official Derby Event.

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